The Wolfpack get 2019 off to the perfect start with five-try victory

Sam Bixby, left, on the scoresheet at Guernsey

Sam Bixby, left, on the scoresheet at Guernsey - Credit: Archant

Guernsey 19 Bury St Edmunds 27

Bury began the New Year in style with a five-try victory in the Channel Isles, writes Simon Lord

This was Bury’s third visit to Guernsey and once again they returned with a deserved victory to make it three wins on the bounce for coach Nick Wakley.

A squad showing 10 players either injured or unavailable had flown out the night before the fixture but made light of the difficult logistics to burst out of the blocks!

Bury were straight onto the front foot forcing the Sarnians back only to be held up over the try line after just five minutes. However The Wolfpack were not to be denied and minutes later Sam Bixby powered his way over for the first score. Cam Ritchie converted and Bury were off and running.

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Bury were swarming all over the hosts, not letting them settle and it was no surprise when Bury extended their lead, Alex Grey forcing the ball down out wide to push Bury 12 up.

Slowly but surely the large Guernsey pack began to assert themselves.

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A try on 21 minutes for Hooker Tom Ceilam dragged his side back into the contest. Bury were now forced to defend and a series of penalties culminated in a yellow card being shown to Sam Bixby and Guernsey being able to draw level.

A penalty was kicked to the corner and once again Ceilam was driven over by his fellow forwards. The try was converted to tie the scores.

Bixby’s return coincided with Guernsey having a player sent to the bin for taking a man out in the air. Bury made their numerical advantage count as Will Scholes added to impressive try tally with a score on the cusp of half time.

A purple patch at the start of the second half effectively sealed the contest for Bury as they ran in two quick tries.

Still with a man advantage, Bury stretched the hosts and punished them out wide.

On 47 minutes Jack Johnson opened his account for Bury with a try that gave Bury the bonus point and three minutes later Fin Sharp raced clear for a fifth Bury try.

Despite the missed conversions, Bury now had a comfortable cushion and were able to quieten the game down and control the majority of the second half.

Guernsey, fighting for their lives at the bottom of National 2, continued to ramp up the pressure on the Bury defence but it took until the 72nd minute before they could crack the Green and Yellow defence.

Morisio’s converted try set up an exciting final few minutes but with the host’s still needing two scores to take the lead, Bury kept the hosts at arm’s length.

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